Opinion » Letters

Forget pity


Please forgive me for not feeling too sorry for Eddie Tolosko, the homeless guy portrayed in your oh-so-sympathetic story about his tent being “destroyed” by park rangers (“Merry Christmas,” Dec. 18).
Let’s look at the facts here. Tolosko had been squatting on public land for 11 years. Presumably (since your story doesn’t say otherwise) he’s not employed, doesn’t pay taxes, and doesn’t contribute in any way to the maintenance of SLO’s infrastructure that he benefits from, even the simple things like clean sidewalks, emergency rooms, litter-free public parks, and so forth. Tolosko gets the benefits and the rest of us (who choose to be employed and pay taxes) pick up the tab. Oh, and speaking of squatting, Tolosko probably does that in the creek, too, since it would have to serve as his toilet. SLO taxpayers will pay to clean up that mess.

Tolosko is not a victim. His homelessness is a choice. With the choice come consequences. I’d say that if the consequences depicted in your story didn’t kick in until after Tolosko enjoyed 11 years of rent-free life on public land, he’s actually beaten the system quite well.

D.J. Swanson
San Luis Obispo

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